Basil loves to grow in a warm environment. So, it is for sure that it needs a lot of suns. Beginners often get confused about the sunlight demand of the basil when they start growing this popular herb. They either give too much sunlight or fewer hours of sun than needed.

So, how much sun does basil need to grow?

Basil needs at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight per day to grow. Basil needs direct sunlight for almost 7 hours per day at an average rate. Even when you are growing basil in a shaded place, you should be careful about the right amount of sunlight.

Basil can’t survive without sunlight and a warm spot. But it doesn’t mean that basil can endure too much sunlight. So, you must have to know the right amount of light that you can give to your basil plant. 

So, let’s dig deeper to know how much sunlight is needed for your basil to grow. 


Basil is a sun-loving plant!

This leafy green basil is one of the easiest herbs to grow in your herb garden. This herb has no woody structure, so it is quite a delicate herb. That’s why basil needs your attention.

Basil needs direct sunlight for at least 6-8 hours per day. But averagely 7 hours per day will also do the job. Basil needs sunlight to grow more and more leaves. 

Like other plants, basil also performs the photosynthesis process for making food, and the energy coming from the sunlight is an inevitable part of this process. So, if you can’t give enough sunlight to basil, it can’t produce enough food for itself through the process.

Also, it can’t receive the nutrition from the soil properly. Besides that, basils thrive best at the temperature of 70° – 80° F. So, for giving the plant and soil a warm environment, it is a must to keep the basil in a sunny spot either it can be indoor or outdoor space.

However, basil babies don’t need too much sunlight that means too much sunlight can be harsh to your basil seedling. On the other hand, if you have planned to sprout the basil seed, you need to give some sunlight but not plenty of sun. It’s better to protect these tender plants with light shade.

Besides that, basil needs a minimum level of sunlight for its healthy growth.

Does basil need direct sunlight?

As we have already said, basil needs direct sunlight for at least 7 hours at an average summer temperature. It is required for growing basil healthy. However, if the place is too hot due to the 90-degree weather, then you must not allow too much direct sunlight to your basil. You can provide partial shade for the basil during those days of summer.

What will happen if basil gets too much sun?

Though basil is a sun-loving plant, it doesn’t mean that basil needs plenty of suns. Too much sun exposure can cause the discoloration of baby basil. Besides that, mature basil plants also can get damaged if there is more sunlight than the basil sun requirements. 

The basil leaves have to fight to keep the water inside when the temperature rises to around 90° F. Basils are bound to transpiration like other plants. So, when the weather is too hot due to intense sunlight, the leaves start to lose water rapidly. As a result, the leaves start wilting as well as the risk of fungal infection increased. 

Besides that, the plant cells will start to decline due to dehydration caused by the heat. Eventually, it will die. Also, if you are growing basil from seeds, then the germination will take a long time. Even the basil sprouts can get damaged. Thus you can’t get your desired result.

However, if you notice drooping leaves, shrunk leaves, and the discolored edges of the leaves, then it is high time you had to get rid of too much sunlight.

What will happen if basil gets too little sun?

Basil may not grow properly due to the lack of sunlight and warm weather. Basil can’t produce enough food without the right amount of sun. 

As a result, the leaves will start to fall from the trees to prevent the food crisis and save energy. The basil will grow fewer leaves as well as the leaves will get smaller. Besides that, you can’t get a bushy plant with those fewer leaves or with those small leaves. However, too little sunlight can cause basil’s green color leaves to turn yellow.

How much shade is appropriate for basil

You can provide partial shade to your basil and grow it with partial sunlight during hot weather. Excessive sunlight and heat can be harmful to the plant. Besides that, high temperatures can make the soil dry. Or else, you may find it hard to keep the soil moist frequently.

However, during the spring, you don’t have to add shades for the sunlight. But on summer days, it is a must to add a light shade over the plants to protect them. Most importantly, when the temperature is nearly 90 degrees.

You can arrange for a light shade for the plants to avoid the hottest hours of sun. Most importantly, you have to avoid the harsh afternoon shade. However, you have to make sure that basils are not missing the sunlight because of the shade. You have to avoid the brutal lights of midday or afternoon. 

Basil can grow without sunlight too!

Are you surprised to hear that? Well, I mean to say is that you can also grow basil under artificial lights. Many beginner gardeners tend to plant basil indoors. But the problem is that they don’t get enough sunlight for the container garden. Also, you can grow basil in containers for getting fresh basil during winter. 

But there might not be sunlight during winter days. That’s why you need to arrange for artificial lights to grow basil. You have to put your basil under growing lights or fluorescent bulbs to provide plenty of light to basil. For getting the best growth of basil, you must provide the plant with light per day for about 10-12 hours.

Where should you put your basil plant?

I have already discussed that basil needs plenty of sunlight and warm weather to grow properly. So, you certainly have to put it in a sunny and cozy place. 

It is better to choose a south-facing or south-east facing spot to receive the morning hour’s sun with fresh air. Besides that, it will be easy to provide shades for the plants to avoid the afternoon shade. 

If you are planting basil indoors, choose a sunny window or windowsill or another open space with a satisfying allowance of sunlight. The place should be south-facing or south-east facing. Also, make sure that the basil can receive sunlight at least for 6 hours from that spot.

If you are planting it in garden beds or ground gardens, then choose the sunniest spot from where it can get the sunlight as much as it needs.

Besides that, make sure to set up a shade from the east side of the spot so that the plant doesn’t have to endure the afternoon shade. Also, set up the shade in an easy movable manner so that you can move it over the plant when the midday sun gets too hot. 

Few last words for you

This popular herb is the first choice of a gardener for the herb garden. Whether you are growing basil in pots or garden beds, you have to provide the right amount of sunlight to the plant. It is necessary to get fresh green leaves for making your basil pesto.

Well, to get a healthy and bushy basil plant, you have to make sure that the basil is getting the sun for at least 6 hours per day. Neither plenty of sun nor too little sun can satisfy your basil plant. So, make sure it is getting the right amount. Besides that, notice the drooping leaves or discolored leaves and try to identify whether it is for sunlight or not. Take care and Happy Gardening!